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Title: Uncertainties in Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Advanced Biomass Feedstock Logistics Supply Chains in Kansas

To meet Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) cellulosic biofuel mandates, the United States will require an annual domestic supply of about 242 million Mg of biomass by 2022. To improve the feedstock logistics of lignocellulosic biofuels and access available biomass resources from areas with varying yields, commodity systems have been proposed and designed to deliver on-spec biomass feedstocks at preprocessing “depots”, which densify and stabilize the biomass prior to long-distance transport and delivery to centralized biorefineries. The harvesting, preprocessing, and logistics (HPL) of biomass commodity supply chains thus could introduce spatially variable environmental impacts into the biofuel life cycle due to needing to harvest, move, and preprocess biomass from multiple distances that have variable spatial density. This study examines the uncertainty in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of corn stover logisticsHPL within a bio-ethanol supply chain in the state of Kansas, where sustainable biomass supply varies spatially. Two scenarios were evaluated each having a different number of depots of varying capacity and location within Kansas relative to a central commodity-receiving biorefinery to test GHG emissions uncertainty. Monte Carlo simulation was used to estimate the spatial uncertainty in the HPL gate-to-gate sequence. The results show that the transport of densified biomassmore » introduces the highest variability and contribution to the carbon footprint of the logistics HPL supply chain (0.2-13 g CO 2e/MJ). Moreover, depending upon the biomass availability and its spatial density and surrounding transportation infrastructure (road and rail), logistics HPL processes can increase the variability in life cycle environmental impacts for lignocellulosic biofuels. Within Kansas, life cycle GHG emissions could range from 24 to 41 g CO 2e/MJ depending upon the location, size and number of preprocessing depots constructed. However, this range can be minimized through optimizing the siting of preprocessing depots where ample rail infrastructure exists to supply biomass commodity to a regional biorefinery supply system« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Dept. of Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technologies
  2. Drexel Univ., Philadelphia, PA (United States). Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1996-1073
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energies (Basel)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Energies (Basel); Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 1996-1073
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; biomass supply chains; greenhouse gas emissions; Life cycle assessment; Lignocellulosic ethanol LCA; uncertainty in biofuel LCA